The legendary New York Dolls have returned with a new studio album. They were one of the original glam rock bands whose visuals were just as important as their music. Their original career may have been short, 1971-1976, but their influence was felt by such groups as Kiss, Blondie, Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, and many more.
In 2004 the group reformed around two original members, guitarist Syl Sylvain and singer David Johansen. They released the album One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This to critical acclaim and they have since become regulars on the concert circuit.
Other members of the present day incarnation include guitarist Steve Conte, bassist Sami Yaffa, drummer Brian Delaney, and keyboard player Brian Koonin. The musicianship of this line-up is superior to the classic '70s group which had a raw and at times primitive sound which was a good thing as it formed an important part of their appeal.
‘Cause I Sez So is an album of straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll. While the energy level is high in places, the music is more melodic than in the past and at times is even mellow.
The title track blasts the album out of the gate. The dual guitar attack of Conte and Sylvain drive the sound as Johansen rails against a society that George Orwell envisioned. It quickly proves that The Dolls have not lost their edge. “Muddy Bones,” co-written by new bassist Yaffi and Johansen, continues the rant with the post George Bush apocalyptic society as the target.
Things slow down a bit after the first two tracks. “Better Than You” is a mid-tempo ballad that could have been recorded in the early seventies. “Making Rain” has an acoustic foundation and is both desolate and beautiful at the same time.
The only real miss is a re-make of the 1973 classic “Trash.” Whatever prompted them to take this song in a reggae direction is beyond me.
‘Cause I Sez So should please any fan of the group. The New York Dolls of the seventies are long gone so this version will have to do and this album proves they are doing just fine.